Recently I was at a Polish restaurant with a friend. We shared several different items on the menu and among those dishes was a "Hungarian" goulash served over potato pancakes and sliced pickles. I loved the flavours and couldn't wait to recreate it at home.
The following recipe for the goulash is perhaps more traditional than the way I often make it in that contains no tomatoes. If you are feeling lazy, the goulash on its own is pretty awesome.
2 tbsp olive oil, give or take
2 lbs marbled round steak (London Broil) cut into 3/4 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large yellow onions, chopped fine
1/3 cup sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
2-3 sour pickles, sliced (optional)
potato pancakes (recipe below)
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and fry the meat until it's nicely browned. You might have to do this in batches. Place the meat into a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. When you have finished with the meat, add an additional teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet if needed and lower the heat.
Add the garlic and the onions and fry them until they have softened. Stir them, scraping up the bits from the fried meat. When the onion mixture has softened add it to the meat in the pot.
Stir in the the paprika, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, cayenne, broth and wine. Bring the goulash to a gentle simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot. Cook for about an hour.
Stir in the bell pepper. Cover the pot and cook for another two hours or until the meat is tender. Check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
potato pancakes, (about 12 4-inch pancakes)
2 lbs russet potatoes
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1/4 cup very fine cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
up to 1 tbsp olive oil
Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate them and place them into a colander to drain. Squeeze the potatoes to remove as much liquid as possible.
This next step is optional: I shred mine in the food processor, so the pieces are rather long. I like to take half the amount and process that further in the bowl using the steel blade before returning that to the rest of the shredded potatoes. No special reason except it's an old habit.
Place the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Add the sliced onions, eggs, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat the skillet with a thin layer of olive oil. Shape the potato mixture into small 4-inch round pancakes and fry. You might have to adjust the heat a touch to prevent them from burning. Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes. Keep them warm while you fry the rest.
Place two pancakes onto each dinner plate and ladle the goulash over those. Top with the pickle slices and dust with paprika if desired.